I’ve had a dog for a little over 4 years. I’ve been running for a little over 4 years. One would have thought that I would have brought those two worlds together at an earlier point in time, but I didn’t. My dog, Reese, was adopted from Geauga County Rescue Village in July of 2009. My husband and I had discussed dog ownership for a long time and finally took the plunge during a trip to RV with my mom. She was adopting a cat and we window shopped for animals. Reese was the remaining dog of a set of sisters that had been put up for adoption. Her sister, Hershey, had already been adopted earlier in the month. Reese was the right size for us, just under 40 pounds and cute as ever. She backed her butt up to the enclosure wall and sat down to let us pet her. Phil, in one of his wisest moments, said “That’s a good dog.” An hour later we were bringing her home. She has been a loyal companion ever since. She has her faults: considers herself a lap dog, is afraid of cats and terrified of thunderstorms and fireworks. But she has a happy face and a Nana-from-Peter-Pan like instinct to watch over the kids.
I never considered running with my dog. Reese is a herder-she likes all of her people to be in one place at one time. When we walk her as a family she frequently circles back….and back….and back….until we are all close together. If the kids are too far in front of me and Phil, she whines and pulls on the leash. It makes for difficult family walks, and so I imagined running together would be impossible. After a recent run with a friend, who’s dogs seemed to be natural marathoners, I reconsidered and discovered that man’s best friend can also be man’s best running partner. Reese is tireless. She happily jogs along with me, thrilled at the speed with which we are moving. Other than occasional stops to mark her territory, she is happy to cruise along for my 4 mile circle around the neighborhood. I get the added bonus of her being tired when she gets home and the feeling that the other dogs in the neighborhood are just a little jealous of her as we sprint by.